Tesla Is Allegedly Partnering With AMD to Build Its Own Autonomous Chips

22 September, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • Electric carmaker Tesla Inc is working with AMD to develop its own artificial intelligence chip for self-driving cars CNBC reported on Wednesday citing a source familiar with the matter

One of their main goals is to develop a power-efficient Artificial Intelligence (AI) chip created to deliver a totally autonomous driving.

Currently Tesla is looking to kit out all current models of their electric cars with the technical capability to perform an autopilot function, although a software update at some point in the future will be required in order to make the cars actually capable of driving around their passengers without input.

Shares of AMD spiked on the news, while Nvidia was down in after-hours trading. According to a source familiar with the matter, Tesla has already received its first batch of samples and has already begun doing test runs.

Steves thinks the chip being developed in the Tesla-AMD partnership will focus on specific computing tasks, while the general processing will still be handled by Nvidia's chips.

GlobalFoundries, a chip fabricator, has a wafer supply agreement in place with AMD through 2020. Reports began to surface that Tesla is, in fact, working with AMD to develop an AI chip for their autonomous driving.

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On Wednesday, Sanjay Jha, CEO of AMD spin-off, GlobalFoundries, said at company's conference and mentioned Tesla as one of the companies it was working with fabricators, but did not state that Tesla was a consumer.

A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment about the AMD collab when reached by Mashable via email, while a spokesperson on behalf of Global Foundries told us that Jha's comments about Tesla were "not reported accurately".

A 50-person team is reportedly working on the chip, headed by former Apple and AMD chip designer Jim Keller, who joined Tesla from AMD a year ago. Keller previously worked at AMD and Apple, particularly on the latter's A4 and A5 chips.

Tesla also brought other veterans in the tech industry: Ganesh Venkataramanan, Bill McGee, and Dan Bailey. As it seems now, they have partnered up with AMD to do so.

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